Maryland police involved in civil liberties issue

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Maryland police are accused of unwarranted surveillanceA probe has begun to investigate the full extent of surveillance practiced by Maryland state police, who have already admitted to tracking certain activist groups.

David Rocah, attorney for the Maryland American Civil Liberties Union, said that the state’s reasons for spying on the groups were "baseless," the Associated Press reports.

He said he has filed public information requests covering 32 groups that are involved in a variety of causes, including death penalty, animal rights and abortion issues.

The initial ACLU complaint began when it was discovered that the police had begun monitoring two activist groups, prompted by a pending execution. The surveillance ended in 2006, when the execution was delayed.

Responding to previous allegations of unwarranted surveillance made by the ACLU, state police superintendent Colonel Terrence B. Sheridan said that the state police’s homeland security division was responsible for the decision.

The news comes after the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency and members of the Bush administration, claiming that their surveillance practices were illegal.
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